#JanuaryJoy: Have a social media sort out

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Todays prompt is one that I have never really approved of, but the last few months I have really gotten to thinking about social media and how I use it. For example, for some reason, I have found myself on Facebook more recently than I have done for a long time and my conclusion is that I would dearly love to just get rid of it all together. I have 247 friends on Facebook which is a pretty conservative number I think, mainly because I refuse to add everyone who asks me or that I have come into fleeting contact with. Despite this policy, there are still tons of people on there that I barely know. You might be wondering why I keep it at all and there are 2 reasons. Firstly, it’s the only method via which I keep in touch with some friends – the message facility is so convenient and I would miss out socially without it. Secondly, I have to have a personal account to have a business account, i.e. for Florence Finds.

Most of the time when people complain about social media (this is something I hear a lot about Twitter for example,) is that they sap the joy out of you and leave you feeling inadequate. I don’t get that with Twitter, but I do find that the type of status updates people post on Facebook are enough to leave me feeling bored and depressed. All I want from FB is to see how people are doing (i.e. happy life news) and to see their holiday photo’s! One story that has always stuck with me is that of Sam. She told me how she and her husband used to spend time on Facebook instead of actually talking to each other or having real interactions with friends. They agreed to close their accounts and sent all their friends message with their address and phone number, encouraging them to call or pop by next time they missed ‘poking’ them on Facebook, for a real-life holiday photo reel. Of course, they found out who their friends are, but is that a bad thing?

When it comes to Twitter, I’m pretty happy. Because I started my Twitter account for the blog, I have always applied different rules to it. I follow people I am personally friends with and would chat to day to day, some brands, (although not that many,) and I use it a bit like a Google reader type tool, by following bloggers that I read infrequently but want to be reminded of from time to time. As a result I’m seldom bored by my feed and as I read recently via the great communications expert Liene Stevens, ‘If you’re bored of your Twitter feed, who’s fault is that?’ I always used to feel that people who cleared out their Twitter were unnecessarily cruel (not helped by my being signed up to Qwitter, so I know exactly who unfollows me!) but in actual fact, for business or blogging it’s always better to have 10 followers who read and engage with what you are saying than 100 with only a few that do.

My favourite social media though has to be Instagram. I LOVE seeing inspirational photos from other peoples lives and glimpses of different places all around the world. I follow my friends on Instagram and stylish people and bloggers worldwide, and I endeavour to provide the same on my feed, without too much of the mundane. I use it as a way of showing the real life behind the blog, and I guess thats what I want from it too.

So, I have decided I’ll be having a Facebook clear out, watch this space. I’m intrigued to hear your thoughts on social media and whether you feel you should have a clear out. Have you done it? Did you feel better for it? Are you done with Facebook?


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28 thoughts on “#JanuaryJoy: Have a social media sort out

  1. Ah, Facebook. Of late my newsfeed is 90% those meme things which makes me feel like I could just spend an hour a day reading greeting cards in Clinton Cards and get the same result! This is despite hacking my ‘friends’ down to the bare minimum. The thing I like about it is also the ease of keeping up with happy news and photo sharing etc which stops me deleting my account.

    Twitter wise, I’m going to dip into January Joy and unfollow anyone who is judgemental or posts an unnecessary sad face emoticon at the end of a tweet more than twice a week. That should reduce my eye rolling significantly, ha!

    Something I’ve noticed is that I feel I can be more honest/myself on the social media where I interact more with my Internet friends (basically the AOW community!) like Instagram or Twitter which makes me wonder about things in my ‘real’ life…..

    This post has made me think!

  2. Oh I aboslutely agree – recently I’ve been unfollowing anyone on Twitter or Facebook (but especially on Facebook) that have posted something that I don’t like to see. As you say, it’s my feed so I can have what i want on there.
    I am so, so tempted to delete FB…but for some reason I just can’t do it. I think it’s because so many of my friends still use it for group messaging and event invites?

    One day…


  3. I don’t really use Facebook much anymore but I love the photo aspect of it (sharing and nosing) and also it’s great for all my overseas friends & family.
    I think I’m the only person left without an Instagram account. I don’t get it, what am I missing?

      • Exactly! Instagram is just picture format status updates or pretty pictures. I think because it’s visual people put fewer moany bits up of the down sides of life. You don’t for example put up a tip of a room (although I have actually done that,) complaining about it, but people might put a picture of a finished tidy room to share.

  4. I deleted my Facebook account 4 years ago and it was the best thing for me. No more do I sit and criticise the way I look in pictures, no more do I pull that same face for every photo because it once looked good in a picture I saw of me on Facebook. I actually find that now I get more personal invites from friends instead of a Facebook invite, and whatsapp has been brilliant for chatting with my friends. And, after all these years, my Facebook page is in tact behind the scenes, it just requires me to re-activate it and it’ll be like I never left. (I won’t be doing this)

  5. I am so much more informed about the world, still have a lot more to know, through Twitter. I like that I can follow parts of newspapers, journalists I like, articles they retweet. On that note & FB I read this article this week.


    I also like the social side of Pinterest in ‘saw this & thought of you.’ I could see me using Twitter more for information & Instagram more for social relationships.
    On this note is there any way of grouping tweets you favourite? For example all recipe together, sale discounts, local information? Second question about grouping your Twitter followings – how does it work, what does it save you?

    • Rachel I *think* you can do this with lists? x (ps everyone can laugh at me now as I just failed the maths test and said that nine – 7 was 5.)

      • Yes you can make lists – of people or types of people for example. I don’t do it (have tried in the past but didn’t find it that useful) but I imagine the main benefit would be to view a targeted feed and keep up with a specific group of people, the AOW gang for example.

        I don’t think you can organise your favourited tweets. I tend to favourite stuff to remind me to look later, then never do!

    • I love getting ‘saw this and thought of you’ pins – they always make me smile (although I’m a bit slack at looking at pinterest at the moment so tend not to see them for a while).

  6. There are plenty of negatives to social media, but I mostly enjoy the positives. Being self employed can feel quite isolating sometimes, but I have a virtual online office via a Facebook group where I can chat with fellow photographers, discuss issues in private, share information and referrals.
    I probably do have far too many friends and when I see someone and can’t remember how I know them or when the last time was we communicated, I will ‘unfriend them’. However, if I was to close my account and tell everyone to call me for a coffee I would be shutting myself off from a whole world of socialising. I have 4 kids, a shift working husband and a business to run, and I simply don’t have time to socialise with 300 people. Oh to have the time. Facebook is great for dipping in and out, keeping up with old friends, friends from many walks if life, sharing photos and viewing others, and when I suffered a bereavement it he support I gained from my friends was overwhelming.

    I use Twitter when I’m in the mood. I recently started to add a wider variety of accounts to my follow list. My feed was far too commercial and quite frankly dull as dish water. Now I have all sorts of interesting things cropping up in my feed it’s far more enjoyable and very informative.

    I am also an Instagram addict, for all the reasons you mentioned, and I see it as my vocation in life to bore my followers with constant photographs of my cats.

  7. Oh I have been waiting for this one. Like it gives my permission to be brutal.
    I know Facebook can suck the joy from life but it am in several wedding related groups which are so helpful and supportive. Plus I LOVE hearing off people’s baby news regardless of how close I am to them.

    However today I am going to sort out my Facebook to only people I want and am friends with. Twitter and Instagram I am going to sort out in the opposite way as I have never really taken either seriously and basically just have Florence and BBC news. So I am going to find some people who I want to read 140 characters from. Any suggestions?

  8. I went on a massive Facebook cull over Christmas & deleted people who I’d only briefly met or vaguely knew but hadn’t contacted in years, thinking this was fair enough. Almost immediately I got an angry message from a girl asking why I had deleted her… I thought the fact we hadn’t spoken in almost 2 years & then only to mutually dislike someone wasn’t cause enough to keep her. I found this a bit strange though as I would genuinely not know if someone had deleted me as I only glance at the wall & message functions, I don’t keep a tally on my number of friends!

    • This is interesting… I was going to mention this issue in the main post but obviously got side tracked. I don’t know why people take Facebook so seriously and personally in this sense. I guess it depends how you define Facebook friend. For me I’m starting to think more and more why is it any different to real friend or acquaintance? Some people just seem to think everyone should be friends with everyone, but if I wouldn’t cross the street to talk to them, why bother?

      On the flip side, I happened to look for someone on FB some time back (because I thought they had moved) and found they had de-friended me and was temporarily offended. On reflection it probably was appropriate, as he was someone who I used to be close with at uni (via Pete) but then fell out with us, (long story.) I think I was offended because I wouldn’t defriend someone maliciously to make a point…

      • My friendship breakdown last year played out almost entirely on facebook, which I found really really strange (and has since been repeated with the same person and other friends) – it felt so much more hurtful playing out in such a public sphere rather than just privately addressing the problems.

      • Your first paragraph is exactly how I feel about Facebook – if I wouldn’t stop to chat in Asda, then do you really need to see my wedding photos? And vice versa! My husband is the total opposite though & has loads of random people he’s met once on his. Horses for courses.

  9. I’m in a real grump today and so, inspired by this post, I’ve been having a sneaky look through friends photos on facebook (especially wedding pics which I always love to rifle through) – it’s definitely perked me up.

  10. Twitter is the place that I consume a lot of my news; I work in the world of media so it’s easy for me to have all of the news channels in one place that I can quickly and easily scroll through to get a measure of what’s happening.

    The same goes for bloggers – I have a few blogs that I regularly visit, but use Twitter to follow other blogs that I dip in to from time to time.

    It’s actually on my ‘to do list’ to utilise the lists that Twitter offers so that I can seperate things out – work, news, inspiration, friends etc…

    I definitely think there’s a feeling of “keeping up with the Jones’ ” on social media, particularly Facebook and it IS hard not to compare. But… for me, Facebook comes into its own for keeping in touch with my friends who live in different countries. We email too, but it’s great to see regular pictures and an insight into their lives.

    And Instagram… that (along with Pinterest) is my all time favourite channel! I love the visual inspiration and ideas that I gain from there!

  11. I must admit I left facebook over a year ago when I felt it had a negative effect on my happiness. Being diagnosed with infertility, starting treatment and suffering a miscarriage was a difficult time in my life. When I logged in to facebook, at times it would seem inundated with scan pictures and baby news, I found it very difficult to see.

    Don’t get me wrong, I was still very happy for these people and their families. We have welcomed the delightful new babies into our lives and some of them we love very much! It was just such a shock to get home from work, log on and then see someone else’s good news when we had been trying so long and faced such uncertainty. I tried to stay positive throughout our treatment and it quickly became that a brief stint on facebook could send me into despair.

    I imagine it is how unhappily single people feel when they see others happily coupled up, when those who long for a marriage see engagement pics. It’s just a reminder of what you have not got and so desperately long for.

    Anyway, I completely deleted my account and I was/am much happier for it. My husband kept his account but very rarely uses it. We decided not to use facebook to finally share our own happy scan news and we emailed/ called our closest friends directly (as we live abroad). We also plan not to use husband’s fb to post pictures of our baby when they arrive; we feel that we want to be more private and selective than that. If a person is a true friend, then they will meet the baby anyway. If not, then why would you want to share in the first place?

    Really thoughtful post, especially coming from the point of view of a blogger; someone who clearly has a passion for social media. Social media is great but I can definitely see that different sites will experiences surges in popularity followed by a waning in followers.

  12. I don’t really like Twitter. I only really started using it last year because it made it easier to organise meet ups with the AOW girls. I end up feeling guilty if I don’t check it for a few days and I do find it quite confusing to follow. Also, I definitely don’t want my Twitter feed open, but then it really annoys me that I can’t comment on tweets from people who I haven’t accepted (so eg. if I comment on a blogger’s tweet about their latest post, if they haven’t accepted me they can’t see my tweet).
    Facebook I like for keeping in touch with friends/organising etc (a friend’s hen do is currently being organised on FB!) I do occasionally find all the baby pics a bit irritating (sorry to those of you who are mums, but there is a limit!) but like Rebecca I LOVE Instagram, could waste hours on there and really like the way it encourages me to take more photos and be more creative with them.

    If I could get rid of just one social media altogether it would be Twitter and frankly if I didn’t like the AOW community so much I probably would…

  13. I have under 80 Facebook friends. Personally I just don’t believe that anyone in the world has more than a hundred close friends so whenever I go over this I eliminate a few old acquantances or workmates at jobs I’ve left. I highly recommend it!

  14. I’ve had a good clear out lately and got rid of all those love-to-hate people on Facebook – you know, those people who represent guilty pleasures … You don’t want to miss out on what they’re up to, but their updates generally infuriate you / sound like complete bragging and drain all your positive energy. One of these people was my sister-in-law-to-be – and she noticed the de-friending pretty quickly and kicked up a huge stink.

    But, I feel SO much better!!!!! I don’t miss hearing their drivel one bit, and feel completely liberated! Would get rid of FB totally if I didn’t like the photo/messaging aspect so much!

  15. I had a good cull of FB friends a while back and now am only connected to just over 100 people ((worth noting that below 100 connections FB isn’t as “nice” to use). Wouldn’t be without it though as it helps me connect to friends and relatives who are scattered across the UK and abroad.

    Twitter and Instagram I also follow very people, but interesting ones 🙂

    Also use/talk about social media for work, so need to use them to be confident in this space!

    • Sorry that should be : “Twitter & Istagram I also follow very few people…” Replying on my phone on the train home after a long day…

  16. I had a mass Facebook friend cull when pregnant. I am cautious with photos of my daughter and wanted tight privacy settings and only my actual friends to see photos of her not random people I’ve met once or twice.

  17. This post has inspired me to have a Facebook cull & to finally join Instagram! Thank you Rebecca! I waste far too much time on Facebook & the number of “friends” I have on it has spiralled out of control…

  18. I couldn’t agree more!!! Facebook is always so depressing nowadays. (After all, no one wants to read about potty training or drunken arguments!)

    But in the same way that Facebook is miserable because everyone else and so called ‘mates’ are miserable, my faves, Instagram and Pinterest, can make you feel inadequate (and therefore miserable)!! It’s a lose / lose situation! But I’m still hooked. It’s too easy to forget that these are the carefully edited snippets of the ‘perfect’ life people want you to see…

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